Joe’s Weather Blog: It better rain tomorrow (THU-6/10)

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — For many areas, there hasn’t been much rain over the past couple of weeks. When I checked the rain gauge on Tuesday after being gone for about 10 days, there was less than 2/10″ in it. There have been a few isolated downpours with some very select areas getting almost 3/4″ of rain.

The “overall” pattern doesn’t look too wet at this point in time but there will be a decent opportunity for “something” to happen tomorrow afternoon and perhaps again during the first part of the day on Saturday. Beyond that though, not a lot showing up with any promise as a predominantly mid-summer hot and humid pattern sets up. There could be a day or two over the weekend with lower humidity levels which would be helpful.

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Forecast:

Today: About like yesterday with highs 1-2° hotter. Lower 90s with heat indices in the mid-90s.

Tonight: Clear and muggy with lows in the low to mid-70s.

Tomorrow: Increasing clouds and very muggy. Dew points will be in the mid-70s perhaps. Highs near 90°. Storm risks increase in the afternoon. Perhaps some stronger storms with locally heavy rains and higher local wind gusts possible. Some severe weather is possible as well.

Saturday: There could be some lingering storms around in the morning, otherwise I’m hoping for a bit of a break of humidity, but it will still be hot. Highs near 90.

Sunday: A bit more comfortable in the morning, then sunny and warm during the afternoon with highs well into the 80s.

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Discussion:

Hey, I saw this yesterday and wanted to touch on it briefly one more time:

Something else that I noticed yesterday was a somewhat more vivid sunset, a result of the wildfires across the western U.S., especially Arizona, New Mexico and Utah.

The smoke, while light, has wafted into the atmosphere, especially on the Kansas side.

Smoke causes vivid sunsets and the morning data shows more smoke out there. Last year there was a lot more for other fires that were burning in California and Canada if I remember, as well as other parts of the western U.S.

This was shot by Kevin Cade out in Lenexa, Kansas and is the feature photo of the day as well:

Here are all the fires that are going. The biggest ones in the U.S. are in Arizona. There are also other more minor fires, for example in Florida and some rangeland burning in the Plains as well.

I thought this description from astronomy.com was a good one for the reason we get these more vivid sunsets:

“Soot particles are much larger than air molecules and are more adept at scattering the yellow, orange and red wavelengths of sunlight. The enhanced oranges, pinks and reds during sunset occur when the Sun’s rays have to travel through more smoke.”

You may notice this as well tonight.

Onwards to tomorrow.

Dew points will continue to increase and should be in the low-to-mid 70s tomorrow morning into the afternoon. A weak front/wind shift will be coming southwards tomorrow with storms up in the northern Plains coming south and southeast as well. They’ll likely go through various stages of strength but severe weather overnight is possible in the upper Midwest.

Winds are the main threats the farther southeast you go in that enhanced area with hail/winds a bigger combination across the far western Plains.

As the storms get closer to us tomorrow, they’ll likely slow down a bit. And as we heat back up tomorrow to around 90° or so and as the dew points crank, there will be a lot of instability developing.

The NAM model shows CAPE values (indicating energy that’s potentially available for thunderstorm development) to be excessive.

So as the storms come southwards, they will be running into that instability.

To top that off, there will be a lot of atmospheric moisture in the storms path as well.

Between 1.5 and 2.5 inches of available moisture is pretty significant. Perhaps overstated, but you get the idea… a juicy atmosphere with a lot of instability ready to be tapped.

The best timing on this would be after 2 p.m. tomorrow, perhaps later. One thing to watch is how much of the cap is still an issue, although it looks to weaken from Topeka and Emporia in Kansas northeastwards through the Metro as the afternoon moves along.

The main threats are winds and localized flooding rains. Storms may have the ability of generating microbursts, so stronger localized winds are possible.

There might be some hail as well depending on how well the storms organize.

A lingering chance could persist into Saturday but whatever big rains we get will likely come later Friday, and that may do it for a while. Next week, at this point, doesn’t look like anything too widespread and the model data shows these potential totals over the next couple of weeks.

EURO totals
GFS totals

The overall better complexes may remain farther west it appears. Something to watch though with a warm-to-hot air mass persisting.

Joe

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